Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer Beach Reads

I recently saw an article posted on Facebook from NPR called "You Call That A Beach Book? Really?" and the title alone had me chuckling. I've spent two weekends this summer at the beach. On the first I started a book that had been patiently waiting for me to pick up ever since I brought it back from Germany called Dearest Vicky, Darling Fritz: The Tragic Love Story of Queen Victoria's Eldest Daughter and the German Emperor. The second weekend I finished The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (I loved it, by the way) and Watermelon by Marian Keyes (a great, funny beach read) before starting another book I'd been waiting to read.

So maybe The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961-9 November 1989 doesn't sound like what some people would choose to read unless their grade depended on it, much less on vacation, but I was happy to have some uninterrupted time to get into this book. While it's long, it's also turned out to be a great, interesting, informative read about a time in history that I know almost nothing about. I vaguely remember seeing footage of the wall coming down. I had just turned 11 three days before that happened. Later when parts of the Berlin Wall began traveling around the world, a piece came to the N.C. State Fairgrounds and my parents took my sister and me there to see it. After seeing parts of the wall for myself in Berlin earlier this year, I'd been waiting for the right time to enjoy the full story, and while sitting on the beach seemed like a great time to do so.

My sister gets married at the beach in September. Things are busy, busy at work right now, so I know by then I'll be ready to escape my matron of honor duties for a bit and read on the beach. I'm eyeing a few books on my self as potential beach reads. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, The Weekend by Bernard Schlink and Literary Life by Larry McMurtry all look like good contenders.

What do you like to read when you're at the beach or on vacation?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Long before now I had planned to finish watching the second season of Downton Abbey, which is just sitting on my DVR waiting for me, and then blog about it. The reality is that I haven't had a second to do that in my spare time because I can't seem to turn off the Olympics. If you're enjoying the Olympic Games as much as I am, you also might like to check out the following books:

No Limits: The Will to Succeed by Michael Phelps
Age is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life by Dara Torres
Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

What other Olympics-related books have you read?